West Ham’s academy player Emmanuel Longelo has picked out Nathan Holland as an extremely talented individual.
Longelo, 19, is part of the Hammers Under-23s side and has mainly been used as their left-back this campaign.
He has been discussing his teammates at West Ham and picked out attacker Holland, who played the first half of the season with the club’s youth team before exiting on loan in the New Year.
Holland is a highly-rated wide player that has been developing through the youth system at the London Stadium since he joined in 2017 and has made four first-team appearances for the club.
The 21-year-old was a goal machine for the Under-23s and he linked up with League One club Oxford United in January for a short-term loan.
He is a left-winger renowned for his pace and trickery, which has helped him score three goals in 12 Oxford appearances so far.
“Nathan Holland probably has the most natural talent – come on, you’ve all seen him, right? I’m lucky that I don’t come up against him all that much because we both play down the left, but when we do come up against each other I like to think I can try and match him,” Longelo told the club’s official website.
Holland is certainly a rising talent to come through the West Ham ranks in the past couple of years, but aged 21 it made sense for him to go out on loan to earn regular first-team action and perhaps sending him to the Championship next season could be a smart option.
Current Hammers midfielder Declan Rice is a shining example that the bridge from the Under-23s to the first-team can be made if you’re good enough and he’s a great role model to try emulate.
West Ham have had so many success stories from their youth over the years and that’s a testament to their academy.